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The Perfect Scam

Aug 16, 2019

TripAdvisor and the Federal Communications Commission are conducting separate investigations into the same series of robocalls that have caused a public nuisance. The FCC became aware of the calls when they shut down a paging service used to communicate with emergency personnel. TripAdvisor began to investigate when its customers reported that these calls were fraudulently using the travel site’s name to sell vacation packages. Finally, after months of investigating, the head of TripAdvisor’s anti-fraud (“anti-fraud,” not “fraud” team) team, Fred Garvin, gets a break in the case. He personally receives one of the robocalls that have been plaguing TripAdvisor’s customers. Working backward to find the source of the call, TripAdvisor gathers the information it needs to track down where the calls are coming from. Once it has sufficient evidence, TripAdvisor reaches out to the FCC. To the website’s surprise, the FCC has also been tirelessly investigating the same robocalls. Now working together, TripAdvisor and the FCC build a case against the source of the calls, “Robocall King” Adrian Abramovich. The FCC finds that in a three-month period,  Abramovich is responsible for making more than 96 million robocalls. These illegal calls use the names of companies such as TripAdvisor, Marriott, Expedia, and Hilton to trick victims into purchasing vacation packages. With the culprit identified, the FCC gets to work shutting down Abramovich’s operation.